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The song's music video, which earned a 2008 MTV Video Music Award nomination for Best Choreography, centres around a car crash (a white Peugeot 505 sedan) occurring in Hyde Park, London. It was directed by Matthew Cullen of production company Motion Theory.
Adele explained to Spyder's Random Things the concept behind the video, stating:
|“||I had a shit boyfriend who I knew would be shit. I knew when I got with him that this would be a car-crash relationship. ||”|
This gave Cullen the idea of a car-crash-related music video.
He later stated:
|“||When I listened to the song, I was inspired by the idea of following after someone you love even though it will never work out. The unconcious couple coming to life to retell the story of their relationship was a perfect storytelling device for the themes. ||”|
It features two views: one of the real-world in which the occupants of the car are lying motionless on the pavement following the accident, and the other (during the choruses) in which the camera shows them from above. Adele is seen in the first view, inside a car with a man. She sings before getting out of the car and walking past a group of people who are running towards the crash victims. Then, she stands beside a tree continuing to sing until it ends and the victims being shown on stretchers, being wheeled away in different directions by ambulance crews tending to them. Adele is not one of the car crash victims.
In the second view, the couple 'comes to life' and move as if standing up. The couple appear to reenact their relationship, starting from their first meeting when the woman dropped her scarf and the man handed it back to her. For a while they appear happy together, but it is short-lived; the man discovers that the woman had another lover. She writes something on a piece of paper and when the man reads it, he is angered, but he forgives her and they begin rekindling the passion they had before the crash. When Adele sings the chorus for the final time, the couple dance on the pavement surrounded by the onlookers, who are now also dancing. The man and the woman dance gracefully and intimately, but in spite of all the joy, they are still just two bodies lying motionless on the pavement, and are then wheeled away by ambulance crews in different directions.
On 20 December 2008, the video was ranked #26 on VH1's Top 40 of 2008.
|Albums||First Demo · 19 · iTunes Live from SoHo · 21 · iTunes Festival: London 2011 · Live at the Royal Albert Hall · 25|
|Singles||"Hometown Glory" · "Chasing Pavements" · "Cold Shoulder" · "Many Shades of Black" · "Make You Feel My Love" · "Water and a Flame" · "Rolling in the Deep" · "Someone Like You" · "Set Fire to the Rain" · "Rumour Has It" · "Turning Tables" · "Skyfall" · "Hello" · "When We Were Young" · "Send My Love (To Your New Lover)"|
|Music Videos||"Hometown Glory" · "Chasing Pavements" · "Cold Shoulder" · "Make You Feel My Love" · "Melt My Heart to Stone" · "Rolling in the Deep" · "Someone Like You" · "Set Fire to the Rain" · "Turning Tables" · "Hello"|
|Other songs||"Melt My Heart to Stone" · "My Same" · "Lovesong" · "Remedy" · "Water Under the Bridge" · "River Lea" · "Million Years Ago" · "All I Ask" · More...|
|Tours||An Evening with Adele · Adele Live (cancelled — vocal hemorrhage) · Adele Live 2016|